Stressed about planning your upcoming retail IT deployment? Don’t be! There are plenty of resources to help ensure that you plan for a successful deployment. We’ve helped many companies plan for and execute retail IT projects. Today, we’ve pulled together our best tips to help you, even given the current climate and the additional challenges it poses.
Do’s & Don’ts for Your Retail IT Deployment
DO: Define the Scope
Taking the time to sit down and fully outline the project can be a game-changer down the road. Defining the scope of the retail IT deployment helps you create boundaries and milestones. You’ll have a firm grasp of the budget, understand the necessary deliverables and have a good idea of a timeline. By working through these factors, you’re setting your project up for success so you can enter the project calmly.
DON’T: Execute Without Establishing Milestones
To expand on our first point, you want to have milestones created before you begin work on any retail IT project. They can help build team morale and can act as the light in the middle of the tunnel for particularly large or lengthy deployments. Decide on milestones that you, your team and your customer can all agree on, and then stick to them.
DO: Identify Resources
“Resources,” in this case, refers to the people who will be going through this deployment with you. They will be absolutely critical to the success of the project, and the earlier you can identify them and work with them, the better. These positions include executive oversight, logistics coordination, support and help desk, technical practitioners, quality control, and subject matter experts — just to name a few. Before you proceed with your deployment, make sure you have all of these, and other roles filled with people who are experts in their particular area.
This step is something that can be done fairly easily, even if your company is currently working remotely. Evaluate the personnel within your own company and decide who can fill the positions needed for this project. If you still have spaces available, turn to talent pools or other sources to look outside your company’s walls to see which experts you can bring onto this team. And, if you’re looking outside your company anyway, there are no limits on where you can look for support. If an expert in a particular area lives across the country from your location — that’s no longer a problem!
DON'T: Only Plan the Deployment
Yes, planning is good, but you should go one step further. It’s important to fully design the deployment. Designs are often more detailed and in-depth than plans, which leaves less room for interpretation by the people on your team who will be helping you throughout this process.
=Another key difference between the two is that plans tell you what you’re going to do, whereas designs show how you’ll be doing it. For a design, no detail is too small, and by being so intricate, you can ensure that when the unexpected arises during deployment, your team is ready and able to quickly pivot and make the necessary changes.
DO: Conduct a (Virtual) Design Workshop
Yes, design workshops, especially for retail IT projects, are often better done in person, but when virtual is the only option, it can work well too. Again, this gives you the opportunity to bring in talent who could not have attended a live workshop. Invite everyone who will be involved in the deployment, as this is the main chance to get everyone on the same page. Give all participants access to any key information prior to the workshop so they can review it and come prepared. This workshop will help you create the deployment design we mentioned earlier.
DON’T: Forget to Communicate
A retail IT deployment is a large undertaking, and it can be easy for you and your team to become overwhelmed. The best way to ensure it runs effectively is by creating processes and plans for communication. If something changes, ensure all team members who will be affected will be informed. While you don’t necessarily want to over-communicate, under-communicating is certainly the worse option.
Retail IT deployments can be challenging, but these six Do’s and Don’ts will help you and your team navigate the process as successfully as possible. If you need additional assistance, Kinettix has supported many retail IT and tech projects over the years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.